Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Mrs. Radford had waited tea a full half hour, when the gentlemen arrived. As soon as the cloth was removed, Mr. Radford proposed a walk to his new house; the two sisters were soon bonneted and on their way. Mr. and Mrs. Bradley admired the location; the building was indeed a superb one, no pains or expense had been spared in its architecture.

Mrs. Bradley asked her sister what lads those were playing ball opposite them. Mrs. Radford told her that they were Theodore Williams, George Morse, and Walter Bertram.

“Why, I thought they were men, from what I had heard of them."

“ Walter thinks he is, since his father has taken him from school and placed him in the hotel; tall as he is, he is not seventeen."

“Dear Affie, I am astonished at Col. Bertram pursuing such a course;

and I should think it would break Mrs. Bertram's heart."

“She does feel very badly; but Walter does not attend to his studies, their motives were good in taking him out; and his father's were no doubt good in making him his barkeeper. Mr. Swinton does most of the business, but Walter has the credit; he is simply employed in the compounding of slings and punch."

“Oh, Affie, he is in the direct road to ruin !"

“ I am convinced of that, Amelia, and I think his mother has fearful apprehensions, but she will do all in her power to counteract the influence. They talk of sending him away to school, but unless there is a change in him, it will be useless. He takes as much pride in showing the key of the bar, which he carries, as Theodore does in reciting his Greek and Latin,

or as George in discharging the duties which devolve upon him in consequence

of his father's sickness. George is one of the best boys to his parents. He is often on his feet from morning till night; when he is not, he is engaged in posting his father's books. Look at him, Amelia, for you can see that he looks pale and care-worn; different entirely from the other two."

“ How long is it, Affie, since Mr. Morse lost his health ?"

“It will be two years next month. He patiently kisses the rod and the hand that appoints it. He has for a long time appeared entirely weaned from this world, waiting for his master to say, come up higher. I have visited him during his illness, and have always been spiritually benefited. His sick room is the vestibule of heaven."

CHAPTER VII.

THE DEPARTED,

We laid him in his quiet grave,

A rural, soft retreat;
And turned our faces from the spot

With slow, unwilling feet;
We raised no graven monument

Above his humble sod-
My father was 'an honest man,

The noblest work of God !"-R. Coe.

On their return home, Mrs. Bradley inquired for her early friend, Julia Mason, then Mrs. Forsythe.

“She returned to us last August in a confirmed consumption, brought on by her unceasing labors and exposure among

the Indians of the North-West, where she and her husband were sent as missionaries. Two of the natives became so attached to them that they could not be induced to be left be hind; they, therefore, came here with them and remained till after her death in November. She, indeed, went forth weeping, bearing precious seed; afterwards returned rejoicing, bringing her sheaves with her."

Mr. and Mrs. Bradley, accompanied by their sister, called upon their sick friend. He was unable to converse with them, but a holy smile lit up

his countenance; while his friends were standing around his bed, he beckoned his children to his bedside. Laying his hand on their heads, he pointed up, silently invoking a blessing for the last time for them; then took the hand of Mrs. Morse, pressing it to his lips, uttered an audible “ farewell,” lifting up his eyes and hands to heaven, and, without a struggle, fell asleep in the arms of Jesus.

Friends gathered around the bereaved family, each anxious to give

« AnteriorContinuar »